Justice for you starts with a lawyer who listens
Alexander Law Group, LLP is a nationally recognized, award-winning personal injury law firm with offices in San Jose and San Francisco, California. The attorneys of the Alexander Law Group have decades of experience with outstanding results litigating difficult and complex cases against major insurance companies, large corporations, public and government entities. Call us now at 888.777.1776 for a Free Case Evaluation.

The Best Reasons to File Automobile Accident Lawsuits in San Jose, California

Tuesday, January 22, 2019By Richard Alexander and Nina Shapirshteyn
If you got in a car accident, there are a few reasons to file automobile accident lawsuits. Here are the most common reasons in San Jose.

By the time you've reached 34, chances are you've been in at least one car accident.

Unfortunately, sometimes the routine way of obtaining compensation for an accident (through an initial settlement) isn't the right path. But when should you consider filing a lawsuit and going to trial? 

In this article, we've broken down all the complicated laws and questions into an easy list explaining when individuals should file automobile accident lawsuits in San Jose, California. 

The Process

A car accident lawsuit begins with a petition to the local court through which plaintiffs voice complaints. The other party responds to the complaints voiced afterward. 

This opens the grounds for mediation, which occurs when a judge requests your and the other party's attorneys meet for discussion with the aid of a neutral third party. 

If a conclusion isn't reached, the case moves to the discovery stage, during which both sides conduct investigations and compile evidence. 

Depending on the cases built, a summary judgment (in which a judge makes a verdict without an evidentiary hearing) is possible. If one isn't requested, the case moves to a trial.

At any point during this process, a settlement is possible.

When to Consider Automobile Accident Lawsuits

A settlement concludes most automobile accident claims. However, there are several instances where individuals may fare better in court. 

Here are a few. 

1. The Insurance Company's Offer Is Low

It's always best to discuss your car accident with an experienced attorney. He or she understands the nuances of insurance claims, settlements, and the like. They'll know how much compensation you should obtain. 

Generally, attorneys give a monetary range to let clients know what amount to expect. They take into account considerations like medical bills, lost wage, pain and suffering, automobile damage, and fault to calculate fair compensation. 

Unfortunately, insurance companies frequently try to undercut fair damages to save costs. When this happens, it's best to take the accident to court, especially if you were careful enough to collect hard evidence from the accident.  

2. High Medical Bills

The cost of medical care depends on the extent of the injuries. Some accidents result in high medical bills, lost wages, and more. 

Other crashes result in disabilities and lifetime care. In fact, the CDC found the average cost of an emergency room visit for an automobile crash in 2014 was $3,300. 

Over a person's lifetime, the total cost reaches $57,000. 

If you suffered from high medical bills or require future care as a result of the accident, an auto accident lawsuit is right for you.

3. Serious Injury

In 2014, automobile accidents killed 32,000 individuals and injured another 2.3 million

On top of medical costs, serious injuries cause excessive pain and suffering to individuals -- sometimes for the rest of their lives. For this reason, anyone who experiences pain and suffering as a result of their injury or loss should pursue damages in court. 

4. Wrongful Death

Likewise, an attorney should always be conferred with if an accident resulted in the loss of life. Not only does a lawyer relieve part of the stress loved ones feel, but he or she also allows family and friends to grieve appropriately instead of worrying about proper compensation. 

Wrongful death claims are intricate and require strong cases; due to the many factors that are considered in these cases, if an agreement can't be reached in discussions, file a lawsuit.

5. No Response

After a car accident, victims create a demand letter which outlines the circumstances of the crash, any injuries, cost of medical bills, and more. It uses this evidence to conclude with a specific sum of requested compensation. 

The purpose of a demand letter is to create a foundation for negotiations and settlements. However, while it is professional courtesy to reply to a demand letter, some insurance companies may not. 

For these times, it's best to file an accident lawsuit. At this point, it's safe to assume the other party isn't interested in negotiations. 

Consequently, a lawsuit is a viable option.

6. You Weren't at Fault

California is a pure comparative negligence state, meaning if you were at fault for a car accident, a specific percentage of any damages is deducted from the total amount. 

Officials determine how "at fault" you are and that percentage is taken from any compensation won. 

If you were not at fault for a car accident and feel the insurance company's offer is too low, you'll stand a much better chance of having few or no deductions. Sometimes, filing a lawsuit results in higher compensation.

Similarly, if you were slightly at fault it could be worthwhile taking the case into the courtroom. 

7. You Have Time

Firstly, in order to file a lawsuit, your attorney must submit the claim within a specific time frame known as the statute of limitations. Individuals have two years from the date of the accident to file a claim. 

If the crash resulted in the loss of life, this time frame may be extended because the period begins upon the date of death. 

If a lawsuit is filed after this date, the case is dropped immediately. Therefore, you must first check you are within the appropriate time frame to file a suit. 

In addition, plaintiffs must understand that lawsuits take an exponential amount of time. In fact, it is normal for a case to take a year or longer. 

If you have the time to invest in such a matter, consider filing a lawsuit.

8. The Other Driver Can Afford to Pay

It's only worth filing a lawsuit if you have good chances of your investment paying off.

Unfortunately, many victims of under-insured or uninsured motorists discover this the hard way. Regardless of the severity of fault, it's simply not conducive to take an individual with limited funds to court because there is no way they can pay for damages out of pocket. 

For that reason, it's best to ask your attorney what he or she thinks about the case. A car accident lawyer is adept at analyzing the answers to questions like these to honestly explain potential outcomes.

File Your Claim

A settlement is usually the ideal route in most car accident cases. However, automobile accident lawsuits are suitable for some situations. 

If you've been the victim of an automobile accident, don't wait to file your paperwork. Contact our experienced attorneys to submit your paperwork today and to get the closure you deserve.

While the results that we have obtained in other cases and our clients' testimonials do not guarantee, promise or predict the outcome of your case, we do promise to do our very best for you in your case.

Copyright © 1994 - 2019 Alexander Law Group, LLP. All rights reserved.